Saturday, February 20, 2016

McCall's 6053 (1914)

McCall's 6053 is a reproduction pattern offered by Past Patterns. When I bought it a couple years ago, Sandra told me that it was a problem pattern and that if I had issues with the construction to give her call.  I began making this dress about six months ago and became so frustrated with the directions that I had to put the project to the side. The problem? Aside from the enumerable dots and dashes spattered all over the pattern pieces to denote this pleat here, there, and everywhere, I discovered too late into the project that pattern piece "U" (the side pieces of the over-tunic) needed to be widened by several inches in width to meet the 32-34" waist measurement. If I were to create the pleats following the dots and dashes on the over-tunic pattern pieces and cut the skirt sections using the pattern/fabric layout, the waist of the over-tunic would be about 3" too small. Never mind the bodice, under-tunic, and over-tunic attachment and pleating alignment issues with the short-sleeve version of this dress. Why not just eighty-six the directions? Because when writing a review on this historical dress pattern, I wanted to give an honest assessment on its quality and level of skill. However, in the end - after fussing and fighting way too long with this insufferable pattern - I threw out the directions and let my dressmaking sensibilities and skills take over. 

I have finished the short-sleeved version of this dress (pictured below) and I'm currently working the long-sleeved version. When using this pattern, I strongly recommend that a toile is made first in order to work your way through the bugs of its construction, especially when making the short-sleeved version of the dress (note the differences in the bodice construction and pleat placement between the two versions). 

For construction photos of this dress, please visit my Flicker page. Blessings and happy sewing! 


  1. Angela, I was given this pattern to make the long-sleeve dress for a play...once I pulled the pattern out and started looking at the directions, I knew I was in over my head. Googled and found your blog...THANK YOU! You have spared my sanity. I only have a few days to make a costume with the fabric given to me, and your blog made it easy to decide to come up with a better idea. I'm stealing your idea to use lining fabric for the under-skirt. I'm going to make a long sleeve blouse and attach it to an over and under skirt and call it a costume.

    1. Sometimes the best ideas are our own and it's best to use a certain pattern as reference and inspiration rather than use it at all! You know, I still have the long sleeve version of this dress cut out and ready to sew. After more than a year, it's become a UFO (unfinished object) - you have inspired to me to finish it! Best wishes to you!

    2. Well, it's done. If you would like to see it, let me know how to get it to you. Hope

  2. Hope, you many email your photos or a link to - :) Looking forward to seeing you handiwork!

  3. I tried making this pattern a few years ago and ended up throwing my half-sewn dress into the closet, not to see the light of day again. And it was a nice expensive linen too. You may have saved it from being forgotten forever.